Shuffleboard Scoring Rules

By Bryan Cohen

Shuffleboard was originally a 15th-century pub game in which patrons would slide English coins down tabletops to get them to stop as close to the edge as possible. The game evolved over time into two versions, indoor and outdoor shuffleboard. These games are both similar in their scoring and require a certain finesse and cunning to be victorious.

Indoor Scoring Zones

An indoor shuffleboard is typically between 12 and 22 feet long and the width of the table is around 20 inches. The foul line is 6 feet from the end of the table; 12 inches from the end of the table is the two-point line and 6 inches from the end of the table is the three-point line. If a player pushes his weight between the foul line and the two-point line, he scores one point. If the weight is between the two-point and three-point lines, he scores two points. If the weight is between the three-point line and the end, he scores three points. If the weight is hanging over the end of the table, he scores four points. If the weight is between two zones (on the line) it counts as the lower of the two. Only one player each turn (called an end) actually scores the points.

Indoor Winning

A player only scores points if she has the weight that is nearest the end of the board. This is even the case if the other player has more points on the board. For example, if a player has three one pointers while the other player has one two pointer, the two pointer would win that “end” and score two points while the other player would score none. The points are only tallied after all players have played, and players often attempt to knock their weights into their opponents to make them fall out of play. In a two player game, the player with 11 points first wins, and in doubles (which has the same rules), the team that has 21 points first wins.

Outdoor Scoring

In outdoor shuffleboard, the court is a rectangle of 52 feet with a line drawn 6 1/2 feet from the end. A scoring triangle that has a point at the end line and a base at the 6 1/2 foot line is divided into five areas. The smallest is a 10-point area, but there are also two eight-point areas and two seven-point areas. To score points in shuffleboard at the end of all weights being played, the weights must be in one of these five scoring areas. Points are accumulated throughout the game. A weight must cross the entire base of the triangle (past the dead line) to score. The winner is the first player to reach 75 points by the end of both players' turns. This means that a player could be at 80 points but if the other player knocks any weights out of scoring position causing him to have less than 75 points again, the game will continue.

Outdoor Penalties

There are multiple penalties that can take points away in outdoor shuffleboard. There are regions on the board to the side of the triangle that are marked "10 off." Any weight left in the 10-off area at the end of the game is 10 points off that player’s score. If a player touches one of the 10-off areas with his weight before playing, he receives five points off. If a player’s body goes beyond the baseline when playing a disk, he receives 10 points off. If a player shoots an opponent’s disk, he has 10 points docked.


About the Author

Bryan Cohen has been a writer since 2001 and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double degree in English and dramatic art. His writing has appeared on various online publications including his personal website Build Creative Writing Ideas.

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